With the beginning of a new year comes new laws. Millions of hourly workers across the country will see their wages increase in 2017.
The increase varies by location, but 19 states, including New York, have increased their minimum wage rate to start 2017, with Oregon, Washington, D.C. and Maryland set to increase their minimum wage rates later this year. The changes are estimated to affect more than 4 million workers.
As reported by CBS News, New York is taking a regional approach, setting the highest minimum wage rate ($11) in New York City, followed by downstate suburbs ($10) and then elsewhere in the state ($9.70).
Massachusetts and Washington will have the highest state-wide minimum wage of states seeing an increase in 2017. Each will set the minimum wage at $11 an hour.
Some groups, led mostly by business owners, are fighting the wage increase in court, arguing that it hurts businesses.
Workers, on the other hand, argue that an increased wage is necessary for employees to make enough money to pay their basic expenses.
Partisan and non-partisan groups have made arguments for and against a higher minimum wage. Whether higher wages result in a net benefit for businesses and employees remains to be seen.
For now, the most important thing is for employers and employees to know the state minimum wage in order to comply with the current laws.